19 Jan 2021

VIRTUAL NEW YEAR 2020/2021 IN BERLIN


New Year's Eve in Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate 2020 was completely different as in all the other years before. In 2019 it looked like this : 

 "Welcome 2021": The traditional New Year's Eve party at the Brandenburg Gate was replaced in 2020 by a virtual New Year's Eve  show without spectators at least not in the street and on the place in front of the gate !

Empty place and streets

But lots of spectators at home on their screens who participated !

Artists doing their show outside under the gate


and lots of lights and fireworks


The show was aired on TV of course and I have to say it was really very good and funny ! I think they wanted to comfort the population who all suffered of the lockdown. 

I was home and watched too. We had curfew at 10 and our guests were all gone, we were 6 in total so very brave ! 

The following pictures I took at the TV screen !







Dancing and famous singers performed also outside under the gate.

Maybe the quality of the pictures is not the best but as it was such a special New Year and I couldn't travel to Berlin, I had at least a nice virtual New Year which also was the very first of my life !


 Linking to Happy Tuesday

 

more participants here

17 Jan 2021

AWWWW MONDAY - WEEKEND JAN 16




Lockdown syndroms !

Linking to AWWW MONDAYS 




WEEKEND

Friday it was the first time this year that it snowed ! On Saturday morning when I woke up the world was white and looked beautiful behind the building, as if I was in a touristic snow area ! But the front was different ! There it had started to melt and the cars had made the snow disappeared and it had started to rain !


 

In the afternoon a friend of Mr. G. came to explain how to use the new mobile ! What a prodedure !

Somebody who has made programs for big companies his whole working life, was now confronted with a mobile for seniors which is so easy to use that he is completely lost because he looks for complications. 

With a lot of patience he explained and explained, the trouble was Mr. G. wanted more to know how that thing works inside and not how to use it. So it took some time to put into his mind the design of the two buttons from the mobile phone and the Whatsapp phone. 

 Poor grandson who send him a Whatsapp message couldn't understand that his grandpa had difficulties with that, he is 10 years old ! So we spent the whole afternoon to try to put the use of a smartphone into Mr. G's brain !! Even Rosie tried to help !

On Sunday all the snow was gone only a few white spots were here and there. Mr. G got on my nerves the whole morning when I wanted to write and answer my emails he always had another question and each time I had to start again ! Finally I told him to try it by himself then he would remember better ! Fortunately he found something to do with his smartphone and left me in peace !

In the afternoon we had our lockdown meeting at Nicole's and again her cousin had baked this time delicious "├ęclairs" for us which means "lightening" I don't know why !

We chatted about the vaccination program in the different countries, and about the lockdown in general and then we digged out funny adventures of our youth and the afternoon went by very quickly ! At least we had the feeling to lead a normal life. Only the masks which we had to wear when we went on the street brought us back in the reality !

Miss Isis listened with great interest !












































































16 Jan 2021

THE FIRST THING

When I wake up in the morning it's still dark and the first thing which comes into my mind is, why do we have this winter time, now it's 8 am and in summer it would be 9 and already daylight. Strange logic, because in the evening it's dark at 5 pm and summertime would be 6 ! But this is not always the first time what I think. 

Mostly I try to make a plan for things I would, could, and should do ! That's usually my first thing which moves slowly in my brain. And then I realize that besides staying home and try to put some order in my million photos, try to write when my head is empty or watch a movie. For household scores I don't make plans because I know I won't keep them and with the promise to mysellf I would comfort me and say, you do it tomorrow. Of course there are things they have to be done this very day and that of course I do.

Today for example I have no special plan I wait for Maria the cleaning lady who arrives at 8 am still in the dark. Since the never ending lockdown I don't get up before 9 when it's daylight ! So once a week I can watch the sunraise, which mostly doesn't raise but only gives me light to turn off the electric light.

 


When I saw a beautiful sunrise for the very first time here in our new home I thought I should always get up, but when the days become longer I have to set my alarm clock to see the sun raise.
Then it's better to watch sunsets because they are also beautiful and to a decent time. Anyway when I sort out my photos I sometimes don't remember if its a sunrise or a sunset !

I switch on the TV for the News while I am waiting for Maria and as each day I see a graphic with numbers and arrows that show how many dead, how many infected and how many have been discharged from the hospital. The vaccinations started here in the retirement homes and the medical staff. Now they have to discuss for a while where the vaccination centers should be installed. Meanwhile we are still under curfew at 10 pm and all restaurants and hairdressers are closed. Our politicians who should look like Hippies by now, are always well groomed like cats (strange).  They probably all have a wife at home who is a hairdresser.

This post was the first thing I did this morning and now I think about another plan for today.


More participants here

15 Jan 2021

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE

When the week's end comes near, it becomes more and more difficult to remember what I have done during the week, I think I should write it down. It is as if I should describe a basket full of white eggs which of course look all white.

As usual the Monday now is declared "MY" day, dedicated to my "beauty" ! Mr. G. is away the whole day, I mean until 4pm which makes me think of school times, when at 4pm the peace was finished and the house invaded by one intruder. So besides phone calls, TV and movie watching, I relaxed. I have to say that this long lockdown doesn't suit him at all and makes him feel unwell. Besides the household scores which we share he spends his days behind the computer and TV. 

Then his mobile gave up it's soul and as it was the very old model he wanted the same but it's not sold anymore everybody has a smartphone now. Or at least one which looks like. I thought there must be smartphones for seniors easy to handle and understand ! And I found one ! Mr. G. very reluctant to everything new and only used to computers as it was his job, finally agreed he had no choice either he absolutely needs a mobile, he is nearly 80. 

I went to the shop and had to order it because it was not in stock. Now he has it ! and it has everything he would need even Internet and Whatsapp, emails, camera, video, calendar etc the basic things of a smartphone. The keys are big and easy to read. And you push the buttons and don't have to slide !


Now, the problem is it's so easy to use that he is looking for complications !  He will get used to it. Over the weekend his friend will come and intall everything. For the moment he can call, receive calls and see his emails. That's the most important. 

We had our lockdown meeting twice this week which is really a good therapy. Many people suffer depression everybody is tired and has a lack of energy ! We were informed that the lockdown will last until beginning March !!

The vaccinations continue now it's the turn of the medical staff and then it's the turn of the over 65 and then the others. It's not an obligation, it's more subtile ! Because those who refuse to be vaccinated can't travel into another country ! And Belgium is so small that if you drive 200 km in all directions you arrive in France, Germany, Holland, and Luxemburg !

A new tourist attraction has been discovered a little Flemish town 30 km from Antwerp, where the COVID vaccine is produced !  

And if after walking around and taking photos, there is also the Brewery of a very famous Belgian beer in the same city !

Where in normal times you certainly can have a few beers ! For the moment all restaurants and cafes are still closed. Duvel means Devil and you can try if the name is right !

Besides that to close the week it's snowing !!

view from our Balcony




more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

14 Jan 2021

HODGEPODGE JANUARY 14

1. When were you last a guest at an event or in someone's home? Tell us about it. Do you enjoy having guests in your own home? 

In Belgium we are at our second lockdown. So officially if you are more then one person in a "bubble'" you are allowed to invite one person. If you live alone you are allowed to receive two. As this is not logical at all, usually your guest arrive as couple, we have to break the rules sometimes or only invite devorcees and widows ! Since the lockdowns, we are in n° 2,  I meet every second day with two friends. We are always the same and keep distance. 

Otherwise I didn't go anyway restaurants are closed and all other places to visit too.  In normal life I always enjoyed to have guests in my house !

2. What has you 'tied up in knots' currently or recently? Are you any good at tying actual knots?

 Nothing comes into my mind besides my wedding 51 years ago, so I suppose that I misunderstood the sentence because it doesn't fit on currently or recently. Apparently I am not good  at tying actual knots as I am still knotted with the same man since half a century. Google translate didn't know either.

3. What's something you've been wanting to do and have decided 2021 will be the year you 'take the plunge'? 

 I want to return to Egypt to my winter home  for some well needed holidays and plunge into the Red Sea which is blue ! Missed already 2020 and it doesn't look much better for this year, if the Coronavirus continues to ruin our lives !

4. Something in your home that's old? Something new? Something borrowed? Something blue? 

I have several antiques in my home, but as we have moved 6 months ago I have a lot of new things too ! Everything I borrowed I gave back, and I have a few bath towels in blue.

5. Share a favorite quote, a verse of scripture, and/or a bit of wisdom for couples getting married in this challenging and seemingly unpredictable season we're currently/still experiencing. 

“Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut, and a woman who can't sleep with the window open.” — George Bernard Shaw 

 6. Insert your own random thought here. 

The only thing which goes through my mind is the fact that our lockdown will probably last until beginning March ! We have to be vaccinated to travel, which is very clever so they don't have to forbid travels, you just can't. Kind of blackmailing in the name of our health !!